Sometimes people make huge mistakes when writing their villains and this is a terrible thing! Villains are nearly the most important character in your story. They might even come before the hero. So today I'm listing a few mistakes people often make when writing villains.
They forget the backstory
I have no idea why, but no one ever seems to pay attention the villain's background. What drove them to do what they do? You'd be surprised how many books forget this important question. So many authors just decide what the villain does and forgets his motive.
But to truly understand your villain you need even more than just this question. Ask yourself questions like: What was their childhood like? What was the big turning point for them? Even, how many siblings did they have?
You might not mention any of these things in your story, but having a good outline of your villain makes you understand them better. And once you understand them, you can properly get onto, what drove them to be who they are?
They don't mention the villain till the end
Not everyone feels the same about this. And it might be different in your book, but readers can't properly understand a villain until they've spent sometime around them.
Try to give whole scenes to the villain. See them in their element. Even before the hero arrives the villain can have their own bit. Think of them as another main character if you'd like. They needs that screen time to properly develop!
They make the villain all bad
I know a villain is supposed to be BAD, but just remember, they're still human. Please remember that. Readers don't want to hate the villain. In fact villains are nearly always my favourite characters.
Add something about your villain which people can like. It doesn't have to be big. It's the small things which people notice. Maybe he won't hurt women and children or maybe he can't bring himself to use a gun?
It's these small things which help to properly shape that villain. They're not the obvious things. They're well hidden and the villain won't want anyone to know about them, but they're there.
They don't give them a weakness
Come on, please! We all have weaknesses. And weaknesses in a villain make for a really interesting story. They can sure come in handy later on.
Weaknesses can go two ways. There they can be of a terrible variety. I like they can't stop drinking or it can be of the good variety, like a weakness for cats. Maybe not the last one, but you see my point.
Another thing to remember is that weakness can also do two different things to a villain. Either they can be made a worse person because they hate that weakness. Or it effects them.
Or it could make them a slightly better person. Give them a softer, more gentle side. Don't give me that look. Villains can have soft sides too. And don't you forget it!
There are so many other things I could talk about here, but I'll leave it at this. Do you agree with my thoughts? Do you have anything to add? I'd love to hear about it!
This is the first of a few writing post ideas I have. Working up to Camp NaNo I'd do a few posts like this. Just to work up the spirit!-Kat